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One of the biggest Caltech Y events each year is MAD Day. Make a Difference Day takes group of 5 to 15students and sends them on a service project somewhere in our community. Projects this year included Beach Cleanup, Rosemary’s Children Services, Chancellor’s Place (a retirement home), the Santa Monica trails, two canyon clean-up trips, Lifeline for Pets, the Gibbons Center, Trash for Teachers and a bunch more. About 200 people participated!

I organized the Beach Cleanup trip with another leader, Richard. Organizing the trips is really easy. Basically, we start planning in January by calling sites and see if there is anything we can do to help them on MAD Day. The Y-MAD Day coordinators give each site coordinator a really easy check-list to follow, and anyone can lead a site. The Y provides food and screened shirts, and our board members drive us to the sites. After MAD Day, we have a big barbeque for all the participants.

I was going to pick up trash from Huntington Beach, about an hour from campus, with my group. I was all excited to go, but on Friday, I strained a muscle in my ankle and couldn’t go on the beach trip. Richard took the group, and I helped out at the Y for a while in the morning registering people and getting them to vote for a MAD Day grant (https://www.truehero.org/projects/vote.cfm?orderby=group&&page=4— MAD Day is the second choice and you should totally go vote for us πŸ™‚ ).

At 10 am, then, my(new) trip left to go to Rosemary’s Children Services. Rosemary’s Children Services is a non-profit that helps abused and neglected children in our local area. They have a few homes for teenaged girls ages 13-18, and also offer adoption and foster parent services.

We were working at their boutique thrift shop, where we sorted and priced a lot of clothing. We were really suprised at how cheap a lot of the items were – there was some really nice stuff that had been donated! Our biggest sucess of the day was a castle, which we built, set out, and sold an hour later!

After sorting through so much clothing that the racks in the shop had no more room, we distributed flyers to local stores. The thrift store is relatively new, so not a lot of people know about it yet.

After lunch, we headed back to the Y. My roommate came back from Trash for Teachers, a company that goes around to other companies asking for their unused materials, very suprised that companies waste so many resources. I’m really glad that we had a group go to see that.

After a short break, wemet up again at 4 for our barbeque. At the barbeque, I saw a bunch of the people I had met during ASB (read my old blogs πŸ™‚ ) again, and it was really nice to catch up! I even helped make the meat burgers. I’m a (very strict and argumentative) veg, so I had no idea when the burgers were ready. I learned, though;I’m just not sure that’s ever going to help me πŸ™‚ Who needs to eatmeat?!!? Anyway, it was a really fun day and a good break from studying!

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